Thursday, April 23, 2009

Curiosity Made the Cat More Interesting (before it killed him)

Yeah, curiosity might have cost the cat his life, but I bet he had a better life because of it. A healthy (as opposed to homicidal) dose of wonder: “Wow!” “Why?” “How does that work?” is a good thing. Curiosity kills cats and boredom.

As kids we are naturally curious. Kids pester parents to death with questions. Kids can take something as mundane as making toast into an adventure. By the time we become adults, “How does that work?” has been replaced by “This is the way we’ve always done it.” “Can I try it?” becomes “Do I really need to do that?”

We want to save time – we never have enough of it. We want to do it quickly and efficiently – and we don’t have the luxury of being able to take our time with things like creativity and curiosity. We want to do it right – curiosity might lead to failure, mistakes or just looking and sounding silly. This is how dreary ruts and dull routines start.

As a busy adult, curiosity manifest itself differently than it does in childhood. Instead of badgering your spouse or coworkers with “Why” and “How Come?” questions, you can show an interest in their interests. If, when discussing her weekend, a co-worker mentioned that she played Bunko with a few of her friends. If you don’t know what Bunko is, ask. Showing interest takes as much energy as faking interest, so why not do it.

Mow, I’m not saying that you have to hang on your partner’s every word. But when it makes sense to you, ask questions and seek additional information.

There are a lot of little ways to indulge your curiosity. At my local grocery store, I found kumquats and star fruits. I’d never had either before so I brought one of each. I’m still new to my area, so one day, I took a few minutes to see where the road near my house went. I watched an interesting special on dogs. Got a question? Take a few minutes and do a quick Internet search to find the answer. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find.

If you still don’t see the importance of curiosity. A lifelong natural curiosity, helped me win $100,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire!

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